Monday, August 29, 2016

Networking Your Way Into a New Job


Is networking your way into a new job the best approach? When it comes to questions like this my answer is always "it depends." I don’t see the world as black and white.  To me there are always gray areas.

There is so much black and white/one-size-fits-all advice on job hunting. I see people taking this advice to heart and not getting the results they thought they would get.

Standard Advice says:  Network your way into the hiring manager. Don’t go through Human Resources.  Use social media sites and all of your networking connections to find the name and contact information for the person who is ultimately hiring for the position you want.  Then, contact that person directly and ask for an informational interview.

That advice actually works, sometimes.  Other scenarios I’ve seen have not worked well at all.

In some cases, I’ve seen the job seeker succeed in getting the information.  They have bypassed all the gatekeepers including Human Resources and are in direct contact with the hiring manager.

Depending upon the size and configuration of the company, they may have just succeeded in eliminating any chance of getting the job.

If it’s a very small company, the Human Resources person may be related to the owner/president of the company.  The HR person may have more influence than you think.

If it’s a very large company, the Vice President of Human Resources may have the ultimate signature authority on the position.

Either way, they won’t be smiling favorably on someone who didn’t bother to submit a resume through the proper channels.

"Informational interviews" have become synonymous with trickery.

What used to be a good way for someone to find out if a career field, company culture or company mission was the right place for them, has turned into a sneaky way to get a job interview.

So many people use a request for an informational interview for the wrong reasons now; it is increasingly rare for anyone to agree to it.

While this method of job hunting may still work in some situations, be very careful who you bypass, step on or step over on your way to that perfect job.

Remember, even if you get the job, you will have to work with the people you avoided, alienated and in general ticked off.
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Author: Nancy Baughman President (nancybpres), Author at Calm Water Business Partner, LLC. She has over twenty years of general management experience in human resources, operations, marketing and finance, predominantly with start-ups and small to mid-size companies.

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